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African Humanities Program Fellows Visit US


At the offices of Carnegie Corporation of New York
Pictured above (left to right), front row: Eszter Csicsai (program coordinator, African Humanities Program, ACLS), ASA/AHP Presidential Fellows Joanna Boampong (F’13), Grace Ahingula Musila (F’11), Ayokunle Olumuyiwa Omobowale (F’10), Kathryn Salucka (program manager, African Studies Association); back row: Andrzej W. Tymowski (director, International Programs, ACLS), Andrea Johnson (program officer, Higher Education and Libraries in Africa, Carnegie Corporation), Robert Nolan (director of communications and content strategy, Carnegie Corporation).

The ACLS and the Carnegie Corporation of New York were pleased to welcome three African Humanities Program Fellows to their offices on Monday, November 10. The fellows spoke about their academic backgrounds, their experiences of the humanities in African academia, and their current research.

The fellows are touring the US as African Studies Association Presidential Fellows, an honor bestowed upon them in recognition of their contributions to the humanities in Africa. After their visits to New York City, each fellow will take up a week-long residency at a host university and will cap off the tour by presenting at the ASA annual meeting in Indianapolis.

Joanna Boampong is a lecturer at the Department of Modern Languages, University of Ghana, Legon. She holds a PhD in Spanish from the University of Southern California. Her research interests include Hispanophone and Afrohispanic studies, postcolonial theory and literature, feminist theory and literature, cultural studies. She is editor of In and Out of Africa: Exploring Afro-Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and Latin-American Connections. Her recent research seeks to introduce Hispanophone perspectives into critical debates on African literatures and undertakes comparative analyses of works from Anglophone, Francophone and Hispanophone literary traditions.   

Grace A. Musila teaches at the English Department, Stellenbosch University. She holds a PhD in African literature; and her research interests include East and Southern African literatures, popular culture and gender studies. She has variously published journal articles and chapters on these areas. She has also co-edited [with James Ogude and Dina Ligaga] an essay collection titled Rethinking Eastern African Literary and Intellectual Landscapes (Africa World Press, 2012). She is currently working on a monograph on the 1988 murder of British tourist Julie Ward at the Maasai Game Reserve in Kenya. The book is a multidisciplinary portrait of the multiple strands of ideas and interests that were inscribed on the Julie Ward murder and what these reveal about cultural productions of truth, knowledge and social imaginaries in Kenya and Britain. At the core of the study is the question: why would the death of a British tourist in the famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve be the subject of such strong contestations of ideas and multiple truths? Building on existing scholarship on African history, narrative and postcolonial studies, the book reads the Julie Ward murder and its attendant discourses as offering insightful windows into the journeys of ideas, and how these traverse the porous spatio-temporal boundaries in the relationship between Kenya-Britain, and by extension, Africa and the Global North.

Ayokunle Olumuyiwa Omobowale holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Ibadan. His thesis is on "Political Clientelism and Rural Development in Selected Communities in Ibadan, Nigeria." He has interest in scholarly African issues related to the sociological fields of development, cultural, rural, political, medical and urban studies. He has won the University of Ibadan Postgraduate School Award for scholarly publication, 2007, IFRA (French Institute for Research in Africa) Research Fellowship 2009, and American Council of Learned Societies African Humanities Program Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2010. He is currently a lecturer in sociology at Nigeria’s Premier University; the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Dr. Omobowale served on the Board of Editors of the International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest published in March 2009 by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. He has published articles in renowned journals such as Africa Spectrum, African Identities, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Revista de Economia-Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Modern African Studies, Africa, WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society, International Journal of Sociology, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Current Sociology and the Canadian Journal of Sociology. Dr. Omobowale guest edited International Journal of Sociology’s edition titled "African Social Science in the Global Academy" (Vol. 43 No. 1 pp 3-90) and he is also the author of The Tokunbo Phenomenon and the Second-hand Economy in Nigeria (Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing; 2013).

For more information, see:
African Humanities Program
African Studies Association 2014 Annual Meeting
Carnegie Corporation of New York

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